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Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: Should I Admit That I Snooped?

Dear E. Jean,
I’ve been with my boyfriend for a little over a year-and-a-half. I’d seen some video tapes in the top drawer of his dresser, while helping him put away laundry. Of course my curiosity got the best of me and I finally watched two of three tapes this last weekend when he was playing golf. I know I shouldn’t have viewed them; and now I deeply regret doing so.

One of the tapes was of my boyfriend and an old "friend" in a hotel having sex. The second tape was my boyfriend having sex with the same girl while someone else video taped it. At some points, it looked to be a fourth person in the room. The video was very graphic — I’ll spare you the details. The videos are dated from a couple years ago.

I realize this girl is from his past; but what bothers me is he still has the tapes! I can't get the images of him and her out of my head and it disgusts me to know he allowed someone to shoot the two of them having sex.

How can I tell him how I feel without admitting I violated his privacy and watched the tapes? Should I secretly throw them away? I love him very much and I want to move on but I don't know how I can while keeping my anger bottled up like this. Help!

To see E. Jean's answer,

MY DEAR KUMQUAT: Ugh! How horrendous! Give me your halfwit boyfriend’s address. I want to take a running kick at his XXX. Not because he enjoyed a couple of diverting romps, (after all humans lead deep, frenzied, poetic, dangerous, tender, erotic lives); and not because he had himself video’d by a dumb cluck (you must keep an open mind about this), but because he ignored the Rules of Sex Tapes: Shoot it. Savor it. Bury it.

Note: Putting the videos in the top drawer⎯⎯ Traditional in all cultures as belonging to the girl friend⎯⎯ Is not burying them. It’s advertising them.

The wisest course is to forget it. You’ve annihilated the old girlfriend from your mind, do the same with the tapes. However, if you absolutely can’t let the matter rest (and apparently you were nearly flayed alive when you viewed the images), speak to him. Confess you broke his trust and watched the tapes. Then calmly and intelligently ask him to get rid of them. Don’t bully. Don’t judge. Don’t uncork your “bottled up” anger like a jealous dingbat.

Or, you can do what I did when I found my boyfriend’s cache of photos in which he was seen in several surprising positions with a lithe young lady with a vivid shade of red hair. (And they weren’t yogi positions either.) When he walked in the front door after work, I admitted nothing. I simply met him with a smile and two glasses of Veuve Clicquot.

The fact that I was standing in front of a glittering shrine in which hung the sacred Speedo's belonging to two old boyfriends, both Olympic butterfliers, plus every photo I owned of me smooching other guys, said everything I needed to say. I handed him the glass. I also slipped him a particularly heinous shot of the redhead. As he leaned nearer the flickering candlelight of the shrine to examine the photo, I whispered: “I’ll put mine in storage, Mr. Moose Balls, if you put yours.”

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and

tired-of-being-used tired-of-being-used 6 years
I need some advice too. I have a similar situation, yep I snooped the email and facebook, and of course because i my reactions to somethings he changed most passwords. Well one email he didn't change and apparently he has asked this young woman to send him pictures of her and she did most are taste for but the one was a picture of her butt but with panties cutting her butt. And one email he sent another woman he told her I wish I could be in town where you will be staying because we could make some nice babies. Making a statement like that means you want to have sex right. Anyway he swears that he only loves me and he doesn't flirt online and he is flirting too me. He calls me jealous and insecure I really like him but he talks, text, sms and all that stuff with women and he swears he doesn't how do I confront him without letting him know that I snooped.
sass317 sass317 9 years
I would say "help" him put away laundry again and make sure you grab the clothes that live in the top drawer, then when you open the drawer and the tapes are there ask him whats on them, "Hun, whats with the tapes in your sock drawer?" see what he says.(little surprised he didnt try to stop you the first time you went into the drawer) If he claims not to remember whats on them, pop it into the VCR- watch just enough so its clear that you both know exactly on the tape and ask him to get rid of them, very calmly. Memories are one thing, homemade porn is something else, he better not have a huge sentimental attachment to them and thus he should have no reason to want to keep them. (and seriously be thorough when you get rid of them- you dont want to throw them away and then find them post on youtube later).
nettefairy nettefairy 9 years
I'm going to take a different angle. I say that only guilty people have something to hide and I think she did the right thing by snooping. She's the victim (in a way) here. I'm sure the tapes weren't easy to watch. If everyone was honest then no one should have to suffer in silence.
karlotta karlotta 9 years
I'd fly off the handle. What is it doing in the top drawer? Is the guy still jerking off to that girl? I'd be so grossed out I'd probably pack my stuff and leave for a couple of weeks. Yuck.
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 9 years
I would either destroy it - if he intended to hide it, what's he gonna say? "What did you do with my sex tape with "I'm not a ho"?" ORRR I would tape myself over it =D
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
The only tidbit missing was the part where the girl on the tape is saying, "i'm not a ho, im not a ho".:D Also, the person who asked this question, also asked either Dear Abby or Dear Margot. I recall reading it there too.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Yeah, this is 100% a carbon copy of a prior post. Is there really no new material?
lemassabielle lemassabielle 9 years
You better come forward and tell him you looked at those tapes! It will eat away at you if you keep it from him. Especially since it seems like it really disgust you. I would hate to see my boyfriend having hardcore sex with someone else on video. It would make me feel really awkward and make me question my own awesome sex moves. He kept it in his top draw and expected you not to get curious? Loser to the tenth degree. I know everyone is probably saying "Well, you looked at them! either shut up and deal with it or move on." I haven't read the comment. I think you need to talk to him and tell him how you feel about it. Communication is what makes relationships work out. Perhaps you can tell him to get rid of the old tapes in a nice fire, and make your own sex tape instead? that will be in your care...because you never know.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
If I found tapes like that then I would ask for them to go into storage. Like the bin kind of storage. If he had them OUT in the top drawer then he needs to realise they wouldn't be hidden! How tacky... VHS. =P I have some rather naughty pictures of me and my last ex but right now I can't bring myself to delete them. If my boyfriend found them then I would get rid though.
petite42 petite42 9 years
My response is different, I guess: first, I'm not sure this qualifies as snooping per se. Your boyfriend obviously doesn't think this is anything he needs to hide or keep secret from you - otherwise he'd have stashed these vids elsewhere. Personally, this wouldn't bug me. It's in the past. It's his past. It's a part of who he is. Is he a fabulous, creative lover? Now you have a little more insight into how he got that way. He's open to experimenting and trying something new. If I found such tapes of my DH's, I would not ask him to get rid of them. They are a part of his history. I would probably watch them *with* him. Hee hee. Maybe learn a thing or two about what he likes. Then I probably would ask him what he learned from the experience - I would want to know if this is something he wanted to do again. (For all you know, the answer is no.) Because I would personally not be comfortable being filmed, or having a third person watching us. It's just not my bag... but I wouldn't judge him if that was his thing. Just would want to be clear what he is signing up for, by staying with me. So I would use the tapes as an occasion for an intimate conversation with my guy, to learn more about him. As for images stuck in your mind... well, you had a choice to ask him first before you watched. So you really can't blame him or punish him for that!!! Let it go.
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 9 years
this is what i would do... ruin the damn tapes! chunk them! do it yourself... its not so weird that he actually video taped this... its the fact that HE STILL HAS THEM!!!! you can choose to tell him... or just let it be and he will OBVIOUSLY freak that they are gone and know you had something to do with it... so all he can do is confess and ask you about it.
oh-cecilia-baby oh-cecilia-baby 9 years
aujah, that's kind of cute :)
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
My BF was on tour for 3 months so I decided to surprise him with a remodel of his room! I hinted around about it to make sure it was ok to do. I found sooooo many pictures of his naked MODEL x-girlfriend!! I was so bad... I ripped up 1/2 of them! When he got back I admitted to what I did and asked him what to do with the rest. He totally forgot he had them and just threw them away. I was so embarrassed after i ripped them up.... something took over me! Thats what I did. we laughed about it.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
i am one of the very few people who doesnt condone snooping. and the evidence is shown right here in this post....had it not been for the snooping ud be in ur ignorant bliss, thinking that ur guys werent cheating... so there. i said it. i snoop. so far, so good ;)
michelle-c42934 michelle-c42934 9 years
E Jean, I love your answer. I'll definately do that if I find myself in the same position
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Don't tell him. This is your punishment for snooping - images of your boyfriend having sex with his ex in your head. You violated your boyfriend's boundary, and screened his personal videos. You practically asked for it. Maybe next time you will think twice before you snoop in your boyfriend's personal belongings. You may not be able to handle what you find.
Bearwoman Bearwoman 9 years
E. Jean is a bit of a nutter if you ask me...
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
oh, so E. Jean is pimpin' us?! i'm so offended!
DearSugar DearSugar 9 years
You are correct RockAndRepublic, this post is an oldie but goodie! E. Jean is taking this week off — I hope you still enjoyed it! DearSugar
linb linb 9 years
If this were me, I probably wouldn't say anything, and I would end the relationship - if he asks why, I would tell him, but if he doesn't I would just move on. They are his tapes and he has every right to keep them, but I personally could not be with someone who would engage in such behavior. No amount of time would be able to erase that from my mind. And I absolutely would not feel bad for snooping, it is best that you know the type of person that you are seeing.
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
Is it me or is E.Jean kind of nutty? Anyway, admit it. You snooped and nothing can be gained from keeping your secret inside. If he's mad at you for snooping then he's deflecting his guilt...and channeling an easier emotion to deal with. You said you have been together a year and a half and these tapes were dated two years ago...not a lot of time in between there. Hopefully he chunks them and you can get the awful images of him with another woman out of your head. You didn't catch him in something he's done recently, so you don't really have a right to be angry with him. BUT that doesn't mean you have to agree with his actions and his choice to keep something that happened in the past around. You have to drawer? he viewing these tapes on occasion? Hope not for your sake and sanity. Anyway...Good luck!
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
Berlin has a very good point-you shouldnt feel guilty about bringing it up. They shouldnt have been there, and if he tries to make you feel guilty for finding them, then thats a pretty sure sign that he knows hes doing something wrong.
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
I was just going to post that Rock. Recycled.... this was posted here early last year, I believe.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
This is a recycled articled. She initially posted this as her first article here. Lest im getting this wrong...
Berlin Berlin 9 years
Um, after a year and a half of being together and they were just in his drawer, in which you saw after helping with the laundry...that isn't exactly snooping. If it were locked away then that would be one thing, but freely in a drawer? I would certainly bring it up, and you could even mention that you thought it was porn and you wanted to have some fun, and then saw what it was. You MUST make sure that it does not get turned back on you..if he does then it's time to say goodbye. I don't think that you should put him down or make him feel like a horrible person for having it, just be honest and let him know how it made you feel, that you were very surprised about it, and not sure why he would still have it. I'm going to say this, bluntly, b/c there's no other real way..he could be keeping it b/c he's very proud and it reminds him of that great time he had, and has no plans to get rid of it until he grows up a matures (depending on his age, since there was no mention of it), and he may have no intentions of chucking it until he is actually with the person he plans to be with always. Kind of like how you would keep an old love letter or poem, or naughty photo of an ex, but you won't throw it out just for a boyfriend who you see no future with, b/c the trinket holds more value to you. And you don't want to force him to throw it out b/c he'll either just resent you for it, or he'll hide it from you and make you think that he did. But you two are in a year+ relationship so you should be able to have a mature conversation without it getting blown out of proportion...just talk to him and if he flips out, then it's just him transferring his insecurity about it to you.
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